So excited to be sharing a recap of day 1 of the creative retreat Lauren and I put together in Palm Springs at the beginning of August! This is absolutely a labor of love for us. We really love to collaborate and get groups of creative gals together to get to know each other better, find relaxation, inspiration and talk shop. This year’s focus was on all things cocktail so we came up with the hashtag #campmixalot and had a loose summer camp theme throughout the weekend. The purpose of the cocktail theme was not so that we had an excuse to get spring break drunk. These getaways are designed to enjoy, relax, learn and grow. There are so many different aspects of cocktail culture that we thought it could make for some fun learning. We were right.
This is our second year hosting the event. For disclosure purposes, this event was not sponsored but we were truly lucky to have some great brands send product for this great weekend to help us keep the costs down. I will note those at the end. This year our event was held at a private home in Palm Springs. We welcomed 6 other gals to the house the first day with the hashtag floating in the pool. I’m still in love with these mini mylar balloons. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
I feel grateful for the blogging world and the friends it has led me to and the experiences I am able to have because of it. To be able to put together a special weekend for some great gals makes my heart happy. P.S. it doesn’t suck when you co-host has the world’s best writing ever for the signage.
One Hope Wine set us up with sparkling wine for our welcome cocktails. We had it chilled and ready to go for the girl’s arrival.
I love this idea for so many reasons! The frozen balls won’t dilute the wine, add a nice subtle flavor and a pop of color. Oh and when you are done with your drink you also have a delicious little sparkling wine soaked treat…
The girls arrived separately so we spent some time hanging out and relaxing while we waited for the others to arrive. I was SO excited that Alexandra Hedin could join us this year. I love this girl. This girl is like a younger, more fun Martha Stewart (side note: I have never met Martha. I’m sure she might be loads of fun but I have never seen it with my own eyes, so her being considered unfun is purely speculation) And her laugh is my favorite.
We passed out the goodie bags as the girls arrived since we had some fun things they could use throughout the weekend. More info on what was in these bags to come. And we will be giving away a goodie bag to a lucky winner! You guys are going to love it!
We set out snacks in case the girls needed a bite before lunch. You can read all about this Taste of Nature granola bar tasting party.
For lunch we did a wine tasting with One Hope Wines by the pool. This is Palm Springs after all. It is always a priority to spend as much time out by the pool as possible! Lauren and I made some of our favorite salads, like this crab salad, to go with the Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling Wine. I was really in to that Sparkling Wine. So good.
I had planned a signature cocktail for each afternoon so day 1 was Cucumber Margaritas. Because I can’t get enough of these. The inspiration came from my recent trip to Mexico and I just want to share them with everyone! And with high temperatures, the cucumber made it extra refreshing.
We kept the decorating out by the pool to a minimum but this Rihanna quote was too good not to display. And with all the cocktails being passed, we made sure the girl’s had a supply of RESQ WATER to help with the hangovers…This is my fave. I should have probably had more of it…
Oh hey, what’s that noise? All of our phones suddenly went crazy with alerts. But the funniest part is that it came up over the picture of me holding the cucumber margaritas, from Lauren’s Instagram account, that we enjoyed by the pool literally minutes before…And very quickly it went from bikinis and bevies by the pool to…
a full on monsoon. We retreated to the covered patio for about 1 minute until the winds came up and literally soaked everything, and us, in a matter of minutes. We ran for cover inside. Then we realized that the pool floaties were blowing down the golf course…Don’t worry, we saved most of them.
So inside we opened the bar and let the girls mix their own drinks and dry off. We kept the music going and had a rad afternoon.
We always like to have a few crafts on hand for the guests to do and the rainy afternoon was the perfect time for them. We set out some supplies to make friendship bracelet wine glass markers and bead-your-own necklaces.
We also put out colored felt, frames and fabric to make our own super easy, colorful signs. Finally, a few hours later, the rain let up and the sun came out again. Which I was grateful for because my hair does NOT like moisture. Frizz city.
I love the town of Palm Springs and try to visit a few times each summer. On a previous visit I had talked to the guys at Bar about doing a really casual cocktail demo during our retreat. The staff really knows their stuff and make delicious craft cocktails. And I LOVE the bold art. So we made a stop before dinner to grab a cocktail and ask any questions we had of these talented bartenders.
I went with an Old Fashioned . It was awesome to see the girls order different cocktails and pass them around for everyone to try. Some even worked with the bartender to come up with something custom.
Then we headed to Workshop. While we try to keep each creative retreat new and do different things, we HAD to go back to a fave spot from last year. Workshop Kitchen and Bar is amazing. The ambiance is the best, the food is perfection and the staff is awesome. And they have punch. You HAVE to have the punch. Government Bombay Punch to be exact. And have a designated driver. We used Uber. (You can see more about why I love Uber in this post, and you can use the code SHARONG75 to get your first ride free up to $30! I’m a total Uber nerd but it’s awesome!)
The food! Absolutely sensational. These enchiladas were outstanding! I’ve been lucky enough to try several of the menu items at list point and they are all exactly what you are hoping for when you are a foodie and looking for a great time with your friends. This is THE place to go when you are in town. After dinner, we head back over to Bar for one more drink and then it was back to the house for a good nights sleep!
Being able to spend this quality time with other creatives, whether bloggers or creative entrepreneurs is absolutely good for the soul. Do you ever take time to get away? Can’t wait to share day 2 with you tomorrow!
Here are the fabulous brands that provided product for #campmixalot – and don’t forget to check out that hashtag on Instagram to see more of our fun!
Big old high-five to One Hope Wine for the welcome cocktails and wine for the wine tasting lunch!
Super hugs to RESQ WATER for allowing us to enjoy the above mentioned bar with only minor repercussions.
Do you think this looks like fun? Would you ever want to come to a weekend that we plan? Fill out this form and let us know!